NHS Trust Investigated Over 25 Patient Death

One of the UKs biggest NHS trusts is being investigated over the death of 25 patients, after it admitted “poor record keeping”.

“Extreme concern” has been expressed by Westminster and two other London local authorities over lost data on referrals at Imperial College Healthcare.

It is understood that Imperial is still unaware of the outcomes of 86 patients who were referred for cancer tests.

While the trust says it does not believe any patient has come to serious harm, Imperial, which runs four big hospitals in London, has however admitted that patients may have faced "discomfort, worry and possible deterioration as a result of a delay".

In an unprecedented move, the trust was allowed to suspend the reporting of its waiting times for planned operations and diagnostic tests to the government for the first six months of this year.

The trust has been unable to make contact with 86 people who were referred for a possible cancer diagnosis.

It made efforts to trace 87 patients, through GPs and by sending letters by recorded delivery to the last available address.

Of these, seven letters were returned undelivered and just one patient contacted the hospital to be seen directly.

So far, 74 deaths have come under the spotlight. A review group is satisfied that 49 were unrelated to any problems caused by delayed treatment.

Imperial has blamed issues arising from multiple computer and record-keeping systems.

A spokeswoman said: "To date we have found no evidence that these patients have come to clinical harm as a result of our poor record keeping.

"We are extremely sorry that this situation was not identified and resolved earlier."


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